North Penn-Liberty’s Justin Kriner finished off his storybook season with a fifth place finish in the PIAA state wrestling tournament on Saturday, March 8.
In the first round of the tournament, Kriner earned a 3-2 decision over Emmanuel Lawal. In the quarterfinal rounf Kriner fell in a 2-1 decision to Bishop McCoy. Even after the second round loss, Kriner remained focus with the help of his Head Coach Eric Pequignot. “We just talked about how it’s a brand new day. It was nothing for him to hang his head on. We just focused on going out there and competing,” said Pequignot.
After that Kriner was locked in. Kriner won three of his final four matches. In consolation round three, Kriner earned a 3-1 OT decision over Harbor Creek’s Collin Askins. Kriner then picked up a 6-3 decision in the fourth consolation round over Colby Whitehill.
In the consolation semi-finals, Kriner lost a close 3-2 decision in favor of Josiah Jones of Bishop McCort. Kriner picked up fifth place after an injury to John Fulmer from Southern Columbia.
Kriner is the first state medalist from the Mansfield area.
“It was a huge achievement for the wrestling program. I’m very proud of Justin,” said Pequignot. “Justin had a very successful year, getting his 100th win. Not a lot of kids from our area make it to states.
Pequignot was also very thankful for the support from the community. “it’s great to have a community that has our back.”